5 Blogging Tips to Reel in Recent Graduates

From paper résumés to job boards to social media, the way companies and job seekers interact is constantly changing, but there’s one time-honored recruiting tradition that has, for the most part, remained intact: the career fair.

Every spring, companies and soon-to-be grads gather under one roof to make small talk, exchange information, and (hopefully) find the perfect match. Career fairs can be helpful in the recruiting and hiring process, but companies’ and job seekers’ goals are often misaligned. Students are browsing companies and roles to see whether they’d be a good fit, while employers are looking to hire high-quality candidates.

This disconnect isn’t helping any of the groups involved in the campus recruiting process, and perhaps it’s why career fairs are among the least effective forms of recruiting: In 2013, just 1.4 percent of companies’ new hires were a result of career fairs. That’s not a great return on investment, so it’s important for employers to find a way to build a relationship with students before they even attend a career fair — and blog posts can do just that.

Considering the Candidate Journey

When building a relationship with job seekers, think about their career journey. Many employers complain that students aren’t prepared or that they don’t ask good questions, but searching for a job is a foreign concept for graduating job seekers.

Starting a career is like learning to ride a bike. Both are intimidating, anxiety-inducing, and sometimes downright scary. Because it takes time to learn to ride a bike and to search for a job, it’s important that employers reach out to job seekers to help alleviate some of the pressure. That’s where blog posts come in.

Blog posts help employers empathize with students and meet them where they are. They also create positive associations between job seekers and your company, which builds brand awareness. And because brand awareness is a key component of campus recruiting, companies are relying more on in-person activities and social media posts to attract top talent.

Recruiting With Blog Posts

Blog posts embedded in your company’s “Careers” page are a great way to recruit young employees because they’re evergreen. When job seekers want to learn more about a company, they don’t have to wait for the next career fair — they simply need to visit the company’s blog.

A company’s blog offers advantages that the “Careers” page can’t. Whereas the “Careers” page focuses on the “apply” aspect, a blog provides increased understanding of the company as a whole in a dynamic way that’s easily accessible.

When using blog posts to attract college grads, it’s important to think about how they will grow and learn at your company, as well as to consider the type of projects they’ll potentially work on. You can implement a few specific tactics in your posts to help you reach students:

  1. Keep it short.According to a study by Microsoft, humans have an attention span of just eight seconds — shorter than that of a goldfish. If a job seeker sees a long piece of content, he’ll likely skip right past it.

Whether you’re creating articles, videos, or other forms of content, keep them concise to avoid losing students’ attention. Try for pieces that take less than three minutes to read or watch.

  1. Show them what you’ve got.Images can work wonders to catch readers’ attention and draw them in, so use them to your advantage.

Rich, striking photos of your office and company campus can help students envision themselves working there, and images of activities outside the workplace — as well as your city — help them feel like they belong.

  1. Help them fit in.Discussing projects a job seeker will be working on if he joins your company can help him imagine a future with you. Millennials are more likely to seek out companies that mesh with their lifestyle choices than to choose jobs based on salary alone — they want to work for a company that fits their personality.

When creating a blog and a “Careers” page, shine a spotlight on your company’s culture so visitors immediately get a feel for who you are as a brand. If your company’s values match the job seeker’s and he can see himself working there, you’ve accomplished your goal.

  1. Showcase good reviews.You can tell job seekers how amazing your company is, but the best way to convince them is through testimonials from your employees. Ask them to provide information about their work environment and to explain what they like about your company.

Focus on employees who have only been with you for a year or two — those are the people young graduates will most closely relate to, and they’ll offer a better picture of candidates’ possible futures. You can take that a step further if you can find alumni from the college or university your recruiters are targeting.

  1. Set clear goals.Telling job seekers what they’d be doing each day at your company isn’t enough. You also should set goals for what they’d be expected to accomplish within the first 90 days, 180 days, and year of employment.

With clear goals and accomplishments in mind, job candidates will be able to tell whether a job fits with their short- and long-term career goals and whether an employer has a plan to help them grow within their careers.

The ultimate goal of blogging is to increase the quality of your hires at the lowest cost possible. Career fairs can facilitate a company’s campus recruiting process, but only if you’ve already set the foundation for a good relationship — and the best way to do that is through a content strategy that attracts grads and leaves an unforgettable first impression.

Photo Credit: thinkpublic Flickr via Compfight cc

Preparing For Campus Recruiting’s Future

As technology moves rapidly forward, the employment landscape will continue to change. This means campus recruiting in 2020 and beyond will look much different than it does today. Students will have different majors, use different technologies, and plan for completely new and undiscovered career paths.

Great recruiters are always forward thinkers. They have to see a talented candidate and imagine how he/she will fit into a company or a specific role. Yet, how do you prepare for an unclear future? As usual, recruiters will need to look into their crystal balls to determine what campus recruiting will look like in 2020 and far beyond.

Industries in Decline

According to futurist Thomas Frey, by 2030, more than 2 billion jobs will just disappear out of the market. This shocking statistic makes a certain amount of sense, as new technology is disrupting and, in many cases, replacing more traditional industries.

Even Bill Gates is predicting a huge segment of the job market will just cease to exist within the next 10 to 15 years. Speaking to The American Enterprise Institute, Gates predicted software automation will wipe out scores of jobs. Some of these are in the telemarketing, sales, accounting, and retail fields. Others are more highly trained positions, including jobs in legal work, technical writing, and maybe even commercial pilots.

The first step when looking into the future of college recruiting is to understand the way technology is disrupting established industries. What will sales and customer service positions look like in 2030? Will they exist? How about creative, advertising and marketing? How do the new tools flooding the marketplace change the skills needed by smart graduates to succeed? The answers to these questions should help you tailor your search for futuristic talent.

Flourishing Fields

Science, technology, engineering and math (or STEM) jobs are in high demand. It’s not hard to imagine why, considering how technology has crept into every aspect of our daily lives. Almost all companies and all positions use some form of technology on the job today, and tech will only continue its rapid growth.

Consider that, for non-STEM jobs, unemployed candidates outnumber jobs by 3.6 to 1. For STEM candidates, however, jobs are plentiful and outnumber candidates by 1.9 to 1. As these fields continue to gain in importance, combining with environmental fields and new trends like big data, these candidates will be the college grads to watch.

5 Jobs You’ll Be Recruiting for in 2020 … That Don’t Exist Now

You won’t be able to find these job ads online today, but in the future some of these might be the jobs college grads dream about:

Big Data: Big data is already starting a revolution in the way we do business and analyze data. These jobs will gain in prominence in the coming years, meaning big data will be a big recruiting trend in the future.

3D Printing: Printing in three dimensions isn’t just a fad; it’s about to become an essential part of how we build and innovate. In the future, those familiar with 3D printing technology and how to utilize it will have a leg up.

Driverless Cars: Who wants to put the pedal to the metal when you can sit back in style? Driverless cars are just around the corner and the technicians to service these full-service vehicles will be in high demand.

Micro-Colleges: Colleges are starting to seem a little behind the times. This is thanks in large part to two phenomena. First, the economic collapse left many college students with expensive degrees but without jobs. The second is how rapidly technology changes, making the degree you got yesterday obsolete by next week. This will lead to a rise in more affordable micro-colleges focusing on skills and immersion over the more traditional liberal arts model.

Productivity Hackers: Already our time is at a premium. Everyone is overscheduled, from high-powered CEOs running from meeting to meeting to toddlers being shuttled from ballet practice to play groups. The science of productivity will become more than a buzzword by 2020; it will be an actual career field.

Predicting the future might be impossible, but this doesn’t mean you should throw in the towel when it comes to imagining what the top talent will look like in 2020. By keeping an eye on the trends and staying informed, smart recruiters can be more prepared when campus recruiting in the future and beyond.

What do you think? What jobs do you see gaining steam in 2020? Share in the comments!

Bio: Amit Chauhan is the CEO and co-founder of Recroup, an entry-level hiring platform that allows employers to find the right talent by getting to know the person behind the resume. Connect with Amit and the Recroup team on Twitter.

photo credit: Unhindered by Talent via photopin cc